Nobel Winners Banerjee, Duflo Worked In India For Anti-poverty

Kolkata: Indian-American Abhijit Banerjee and his wife Esther Duflo, joint winners of the 2019 Nobel Economics Prize, were closely associated with city-based Bandhan Bank for an anti-poverty programme, a top official of the lender said on Monday.

Banerjee and French-American Duflo were associated with Bandhan Bank in 2011, when it was a micro-finance institution (MFI), for analysing the impact assessment of anti-poverty programme – Targetting the Hard-Core Poor (THP).

“They (Abhijit Banerjee and Esther Duflo) have closely worked with Bandhan for the THP programme. We share a close relation with both of them since 2006,” MD and CEO of Bandhan Bank, Chandrasekhar Ghosh, told PTI.

The paper authored by Banerjee and Duflo — Targetting the Hard-Core Poor – An impact Assessment — focused on baseline and post-programme surveys with nearly 1,000 households.

“We randomly invited half (of the 1,000 households) to participate in Bandhan’s ‘Targeting the Hard-Core Poor’ (THP) programme,” they had said.

The theory behind the programme was that the poor are trapped in extreme poverty, due to lack of assets and inability to use financial intermediation.

Banerjee, Duflo and Michael Kremer jointly won this year’s Nobel Economics Prize on Monday for their ‘experimental approach to alleviating global poverty’.